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Azarenka retains perfect record in 2012

updated 3:28 PM EST, Fri February 17, 2012
Eyes on the prize: Belarusian Victoria Azarenka made it 15 straight wins in 2012 at the Qatar Open
Eyes on the prize: Belarusian Victoria Azarenka made it 15 straight wins in 2012 at the Qatar Open
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka wins 15th straight match in 2012
  • Belarusian beats Yanina Wickmayer to reach Qatar Open semifinals
  • No. 3 seed Samantha Stosur defeats Monica Niculescu 6-2 2-6 6-3
  • Agnieszka Radwanska and Mario Bartoli also through to final four

(CNN) -- World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka made it 15 straight wins in 2012 after she defeated Yanina Wickmayer to reach the Qatar Open semifinals.

The Belarusian, who claimed her first grand slam title at the Australian Open in January, beat her Belgian opponent 6-0 6-4 in just over an hour.

Azarenka, the top seed, revealed a change in her emotional approach over the past year has reaped rewards and propelled her to the top of the rankings.

"Last year at this time I was a little bit of a mess," she was quoted as saying on the WTA Tour's website. "I couldn't control any of my emotions.

Ambitious Azarenka downplays the pressure of being No. 1

"That's one thing when I came back after Doha to Indian Wells I had to change, my mentality on the court, the way I approach a match, the way I approach tough moments.

I had to change, my mentality on the court, the way I approach a match, the way I approach tough moments
Victoria Azarenka

"Now, I don't try to think about why something is happening to me. I just try to accept it and deal with it."

Azarenka certainly didn't look under any duress during her victory over Wickmayer, taking the first set in just 21 minutes.

"I would consider the first set as a perfect set. I was really going for every shot I could and everything was working," Azarenka said.

"In the second set I had opportunities in every game, I just couldn't convert them. But it's important the way I finished the second set. It was the same way as I started the match."

Azarenka's reward for another impressive win is a final four clash with Agnieszka Radwanska after the Pole beat Christina McHale, from America, 6-1 6-1.

Third seed Samantha Stosur, from Australia, also booked her place in the last four with a 6-2 2-6 6-3 win over Romanian Monica Niculescu.

The 2011 U. S. Open champion said: "It's one of those matches where when you are in control, you have to keep going and keep going and keep going, and know you're going to miss a few but you're going to make more than you miss.

"Monica plays a unique game that at times can put you off, but at the end of the day I'm happy with the way I bounced back in the middle of that third set."

Stosur will play France's Marion Bartoli in the semis after the fifth seed defeated Lucie Safarova, from the Czech Republic, 7-5 4-6 6-1.

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